"Mama, did I make sense?"
She says this now. After she tries to explain something to me, which more often than not, does not make sense. It guts me every single time.
I know so many of you think that because she can talk, and talk and talk, that she can effectively communicate. I am here to tell you that she often cannot.
She gets confused. And this next part is really hard for me to type because, it hurts to say, and more importantly I do not know enough about these topics to speak about it with any amount of sophistication, but here goes. Kate confusion reminds me of dementia or Alzheimers. Or what I think I know of these two things.
Kate's two biggest communication issues are as follows:
Theory of Mind Issues:
I've chatted about this before so if you need a detailed explanation about Theory of Mind and how it pertains to Kate you can click here. Otherwise, the simplest way to explain this is to tell you that Kate whole-heartedly believes that you feel the exact same way she does about any given thing.
If she wants to win at the game, of course, you also want her to win.
If she wants to play with the yellow Power Ranger, of course, you also want her to have that yellow Power Ranger.
If she has no smarties left in her box, than you have no smarties left in your box.
Essentially, Kate can easily become indignant, angry and confused when things don't go her way, because the rest of the world feels exactly like she does, right?
Yeah, it's a tough one. It comes across as bad behavior and those that get their education from Fox news and internet memes will probably give you a hard time about this, but they're assholes, so fuck 'em. They also don't believe in essential human rights, or global warming, so they have their own disability to worry about.
Receptive Language Issues:
This is also not easy for a number of people to understand, and for good reason. It is hard to wrap your brain around the idea that a person can have a large vocabulary but have a serious communication deficit.
Kate can talk to you all day about things she is interested in, of course. She can ask for things, and give opinions and tell some of the greatest and funniest stories on her good days. However, when you speak to her, it enters her brain, she then re-arranges (or so I imagine) the words until it makes sense to her and she goes with that.
Examples of this are harder to share, because most times we both end up confused and we slow down and start over. We've even gotten pretty adept at figuring out what she means even if it doesn't make sense.
So, the older Kate gets the harder it is for her to hide these deficits. She still isn't able to communicate effectively enough to fit in with a group of friends, or get through a day without someone screwing up their face at her, and saying: "That doesn't make sense." (I think this is why she likes spending time with her dog so much. Oakley doesn't ask questions or look at her like she's wrong, somehow. Oakley understands.)
This is why is hurts to hear her ask me if she's made sense. I don't want my super confident little spitfire to feel bad because language is hard and she is trying her hardest to make us understand.
Sometimes I wonder if she has it figured out and we are the ones with the communication deficit.
Anyway, there's my piece for this evening. Thanks for listening.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)